A PLANNED cycleway linking Steeton with its railway station may never be built, fear residents and councillors.

They believe efforts to build a path connecting the Thornhill Road area with with Steeton/Silsden station, cutting out busy Steeton Top, have stalled.

Steeton resident Rob Fotherby has received official correspondence suggesting such a path – for both cyclists and pedestrians – could be too dangerous.

But parish council chairman David Mullen said the council had yet to see evidence for this.

He said: “The rest of the route is set in place. I can’t see any rhyme or reason why it can’t be completed.”

“It would cut down journey times and would make the station accessible to a hell of a lot of people.”

The problem centres on the last two stretches of a cycle route eventually intended to run below Airedale hospital and connect Cross Hills with the station.

Redrow Housing has agreed to build one stretch of the route through a housing estate that it is currently constructing on land off Thornhill Road.

The final stretch would connect the housing estate to the station, along Steeton Grove, but the two suggested connecting points cross land in private ownership.

Coun Mullen said Steeton Grove had been in use since the Second World War as an access road to businesses alongside the railway line.

He said: “If it’s safe for people to walk along Steeton Grove to work at Damart and other places, how can it be dangerous for cycles?”

Over the past few months Mr Fotherby, who lives at St Stephen’s Court, Steeton, has approached several organisations involved in the project asking for clarification.

On Mr Fotherby’s behalf Keighley MP Kris Hopkins recently organised a meeting between Redrow Homes, Bradford Council and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency – one of the landowners – to discuss the issue.

Mr Hopkins this month wrote to Mr Fotherby to say: “Unfortunately the decision was made taken that due to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, both of the two proposed footpath routes would not be appropriate to build.”

Mr Hopkins said the organisations were now considering further options.

In April, Bradford Council’s major developments manager John Eyles told Mr Fotherby that in the long term the council still intended to persuade landowners to allow the cycle route across their land.

He added: “The provision of an improved cycle route will be included in future bids for highways funding to assist in the capital costs involved.”